Annual UN global drug report notes likely decline in opium consumption, levelling of poppy cultivation and growth in ATS in East Asia

Regional launch of report by UN Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific at Cafe Doi Tung on 26 June 2009

Bangkok (UNODC-UN/ESCAP Information Services) - The United Nations anti-narcotics body is set to launch its annual survey of illicit drug trends around the world, with this year's edition noting that despite great efforts made by countries and their partners, the production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs still represent serious challenges to human security. While there are positive trends in Southeast Asia such as a likely drop in opium consumption and a levelling of poppy cultivation, other data highlight the growing issue of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) production, trafficking and consumption, and the continuing prevalence of heroin use in East Asian communities.

The World Drug Report 2009 - to be launched formally on Wednesday 24 June in New York - represents the UN Office on Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) yearly effort to raise understanding of the state of global drug markets and to enhance responses by Member States to the threats they represent.

The report also shows several unintended consequences produced by international drug control systems, including the creation of a lucrative black market for drugs and the violence and corruption it generates, as well as negative effects on drug users caused by an emphasis on incarceration rather than treatment that is widespread across many countries.

UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa notes that changes are necessary to the organization and implementation of international drug control systems, including a shift in law enforcement focus "from drug users to drug traffickers", and for Member States "to pursue the goal of universal access to drug treatment as a commitment to save lives and reduce drug demand".

To present the findings of the World Drug Report 2009 UNODC will hold a press conference Friday 26 June 2009 with its Regional Representative for East Asia, Mr. Gary Lewis.

Members of the media are invited to attend the press conference at 3:00 p.m. (registration at 2:30 p.m.) at:

Cafe Doi Tung (Silom Branch) at the Sibunruang Building on the corner of Convent Road close to the Saladeng BTS station.

Registration should be sent by 25 June 2009 via fax (+66 2 281 2129) to the UNODC Regional Centre for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

For further information please contact:

Giovanni Broussard, UNODC (tel. 02 281 2129,
Ajarie Salilasiri, UNODC (tel. 02 281 2083,
Mitch Hsieh, UN/ESCAP Information Services (tel. 02 288 1862,